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Using hardware accelerated 3D renderer on Linux

This How-to applies to: Any version.
This How-to is intended for: Any audience.

Making sure that your 3D viewer is working at full speed.

To make sure that your graphics card is working at full speed, you need to install hardware accelerated OpenGL drivers. This is not an issue with Windows and Mac OS X, since they come with these drivers installed. However, most Linux systems come with Mesa drivers instead, which is a software (indirect) implementation of the OpenGL. 

Ubuntu/Debian users can install hardware drivers using System > Administration > Hardware Drivers. Fedora/RHEL users need to find their graphics card manufacturers and install drivers separately. See, for instance, The Unofficial Fedora FAQ.

To find which renderer you are using run:

glxinfo | grep renderer

If you are getting "Mesa GLX Indirect", you'll need to install hardware accelerated driver from your graphics card manufacturer.

To find out your Video Card manufacturer and model number, click Main Menu → System Settings → Display or run:

lspci | grep VGA
lspci should return something like:
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV45GL [Quadro FX 3400/4400] (rev a2)

The following are links to driver downloads from major graphics card manufacturers:

see also:

OpenGL misconfiguration detected on Linux.
Why I'm getting this message and how to fix it?
by Sargis Dallakyan last modified 2011-05-28 07:33 Molecular Graphics Laboratory, TSRI

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